The rupture of a major Nigerian Gas Company, NGC, pipeline has caused power generation drop by 1,087 megawatts and scuttled the delivery of gas to six power plants.
Confirming the development, the Transmission Company of Nigeria, TCN, stated that the incident which occurred on the June 15, 2018, as well as technical issues at the Shell gas wells on the 16th of June have compelled the company to embark on load shedding.
TCN stated that the load-shedding was adopted in order to maintain stability of the national grid, thus avoiding total power system collapse, as there has been a sharp drop in generation into the grid by a total of 1,087.6MW.
The affected power stations include the Ihovbor, Azura, Omotosho gas, Geregu gas, Olorunsogo gas, Sapele and the Egbin Power Station which has managed to generate 60MW only on each of its units, losing a total of 211MW.
Also, Afam VI power station was shut down to enable Shell resolve its gas well issues and commence gas supply to Afam VI power station.
Mrs. Ndidi Mbah, the General Manager Public Affairs, in an interview, stated that, “With a total loss of 1,087.6MW into the grid, the transmission system has become quite fragile and that TCN is working hard to avert a collapse of the system, by engaging in load-shedding.
“The load-shedding is to ensure that available generation is commensurate with what is allocated to discos nationwide, to create a balance and avert grid instability.”
Mbah noted that the NGC is making efforts to ensure that the gas pipeline issues are resolved in order to restore normal gas supply to the affected power generating stations, to enable them generate into the grid.
Meanwhile, Shell has resolved its gas well issue this morning and gas supply partially restored to Afam VI.
Similarly, Mbah noted that “The Company appealed for understanding and assured that its engineers are working hard to continue to maintain the stability of the grid, pending completion of repairs of the gas pipeline by NGC and restoration of full gas supply to the affected generating stations.”
Also, a report from the Office of Vice-President, Advisory Power Team, showed that, on June 16 2018, average power sent out was 2,907MWh/hour (down by 643.95MWh/h from the previous day).
According to the report, “2,374MW was not generated due to unavailability of gas. 85MW was not generated due to unavailability of transmission infrastructure, while 276MW was not generated due to high frequency resulting from unavailability of distribution infrastructure. 285MW was recorded as losses due to water management.
“The power sector lost an estimated N1.5 billion on same day due to insufficient gas supply, distribution infrastructure and transmission infrastructure. The dominant constraint on June 16 2018 remained unavailability of gas – constraining a total of 2,374MW from being available on the grid.
“The sector experienced the first total collapse since February 2018 as a result of ruptured pipelines and challenges from Shell’s gas wells leading to a drop in generation by 1,087.6 MW.”
SERAP sues Fashola
Meanwhile, Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) has sued the Mr Babatunde Fashola, SAN, Minister of Power, Works and Housing over “failure to account for the spending on the privatisation of the electricity sector and the exact amount of post-privatisation spending on generation companies (GENCOS), distribution companies (DISCOS) and Transmission Company of Nigeria to date, and to explain if such spending came from budgetary allocations or other sources.”
In the suit number FHC/L/CS/972/18 filed last week at the Federal High Court, Ikoyi, Lagos, SERAP is seeking “an order for leave to apply for judicial review and an order of mandamus directing and/or compelling Mr Fashola to provide specific details on the privatization of the electricity sector, the names of all the companies and individuals involved; and to publish widely including on a dedicated website any such information.”
The suit followed SERAP’s Freedom of Information request dated 7 May 2018 to Mr Fashola giving him 14 days to provide “information on the status of implementation of the 25-year national energy development plan, and whether the Code of Ethics of the privatization process which bars staff of the Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE) and members of the National Council on Privatization (NCP) from buying shares in companies being privatized were deliberately flouted.”
The suit filed on behalf of SERAP by its counsel, Ms. Bamisope Adeyanju read in part: “Publishing the information requested and making it widely available to the public would serve the public interest and provide insights relevant to the public debate on the ongoing efforts to prevent and combat a culture of mismanagement of public funds, corruption and impunity of perpetrators.”
“Most of the companies that won the bids had no prior experience in the power sector and little or no capacity at all to manage the sector. The privatization of the Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN) has yielded the country total darkness. The gains of privatization have been lost through alleged corruption, manipulation of rules and disregard to extant laws and lack of transparency in the exercise.”
“To further highlight the seriousness of the situation, several years after the country’s power sector was privatized, millions of Nigerian households particularly the socially and economically vulnerable sectors of the population continue to complain about outrageous bills for electricity not consumed, and poor power supply from distribution firms.
“Millions of Nigerians continue to be exploited through the use of patently illegal estimated billing by DISCOs. One wonders the essence of the privatization if there has been no corresponding improvement in power for Nigerians.”
“Enforcing the right to truth would allow Nigerians to gain access to information essential to the fight against corruption and provide a form of reparation to victims of grand corruption in the power sector. The UN Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights in its General Comment 3 has implied that privatization process should not be detrimental to the effective realization of all human rights, including access to regular electricity supply.”
“SERAP has the right to request the information under contention on the basis of several provisions of the Freedom of Information (FOI) Act, 2011. By Section (1) of the FoI Act, SERAP is entitled as of right to request for or gain access to information, including information on post-privatization spending by the Federal Government and accounts of spending on the private entities such as GENCOS and DISCOS.”